Any activities carried out by any parties in the East Vietnam Sea must abide by international law, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Le Hai Binh insisted on Thursday.
The spokesman made the statement at a press conference held in Hanoi yesterday when asked by reporters about Vietnam’s response to China’s live-fire exercises in the Gulf of Tonkin that began on July 27 and are expected to end today, August 1.
All actions of any parties in the sea area must be in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Binh said.
He emphasized that all parties should not take any actions that complicate the situation and affect peace, stability, security and the safety of both navigation and aviation in the area.
Currently, Vietnam’s law enforcement forces as well as Vietnamese fishermen still maintain their respective normal operations in the East Vietnam Sea.
A reporter also asked Binh about Vietnam’s response to the fact that Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario has said he will make a proposal at the upcoming ASEAN ministerial meeting in Myanmar that all parties involved in the East Vietnam Sea disputes should stop all actions that could escalate the tension there.
In reply, Binh said Vietnam always welcomes all constructive initiatives and efforts that help maintain peace, stability, and maritime security and safety in the region.
When asked if Vietnam will change its policy toward China, as the former is believed to depend on the latter, Binh affirmed that the Southeast Asian country consistently pursues its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multi-lateralization, while strengthening its ties with other countries all over the world, including its bordering neighbors.